The Indian manufacturing industry is on the cusp of transformational change, impacting the type of networking service offered by operators. India is expected to be among the top five manufacturing countries in the world, according to Deloitte. To become a manufacturing hub, India is adopting Industry 4.0 – the digitization of the manufacturing industry –which will automateprocesses, enhance production and improve operations. Industry 4.0 impacts all aspects of manufacturing including production, operations, workforces, partners, suppliers, and most importantly, customer relations.
The foundation of Industry 4.0 lies in emerging technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Augmented Reality (AR). These are crucial to enabling the manufacturing industry to meet government-led initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India. The government aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector from 16% to 25% by 2022 and hopes to create 100 million new jobs, and Industry 4.0 will be a key driver of this growth.
Recently, there have been a few developments across India which promise to drive the concept of Industry 4.0 forward. The government is all set to announce new industrial policy soon to boost manufacturing and Industry 4.0. HP India recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government to build a Center of Excellence for 3D printing in the state. Further, Nokia’s factory in Chennai has started leveraging Industry 4.0 solutions such as AI, AR, robotics and Big Data to enhance operational efficiency and increase productivity.
A reliable, flexible, and programmable network is required for Industry 4.0. Some networks today are not geared to provide the scale and agility needed for Industry 4.0, as they are designed primarily for landline and mobile data. For example, adoption of IIoT demands thousands of sensors to be connected which depends on a scalable network. Using robots supported by AI requires reliable network connectivity. Tasks such as 3D printing demands a network that can meet dynamic needs. Here are three tools that can enable operators to support manufacturers on their journey to Industry 4.0:
Time is absolutely critical for manufacturers who are trying to run efficient lines and deliver on customer orders. Getting real-time insight into production is the only way manufacturers can understand the chain, reconfigure processes, and deliver a product in a timely fashion. Making informed and data-driven decisions rests on analytics. By collecting network data, identifying network patterns and trends, and proactively predicting potential outages, analytics helps operators that support manufacturers address operational issues quickly and effectively.
With the rise of IIoT, AI, AR and other emerging technologies comes evolving demands being put on networks. As a result, operators should consider how coherent optical solutions enable manufacturers to keep up with the bandwidth demands of Industry 4.0. From machines to tools to processing, manufacturing produces a massive amount of datathat needs to move at the speed of light. Increasing capacity enables better operational efficiencies and cost savings for manufacturers.
Prepare for 5G
5G wireless promises higher bandwidth, lower latency, and a much larger number of connection points than 4G can offer – all benefits that can support the rise of manufacturing. However, operators are challenged with scaling their existing networks to support future 5G rollouts. It’s more than just a radio upgrade; to usher in the new age of connectivity for manufacturers, operators need to upgrade their wireline networks to support evolving 4G service and prepare for 5G.
Be it increasing production, reducing time-to-market, or leveraging insights from analytics, manufacturers stand to gain tremendously from Industry 4.0. The service providers can help the manufacturing industry succeed in the Industry 4.0 era by building a smart, reliable and adaptive network that uses analytics, provides extremely low latency and ultra-high speed. The time to do this is now, so both the service providers and manufacturers benefit from being the first mover in Industry 4.0.
- By Sachin Gadekar , Regional Sales Director, Ciena